Womanist theology

Womanist theology is a religious conceptual framework which reconsiders and revises the traditions, practices, scriptures, and biblical interpretation with a special lens to empower and liberate African-American women in America. Womanist theology associates with and departs from Feminist theology and Black theology specifically because it integrates the perspectives and experiences of African American and other women of color. The former's lack of attention to the everyday realities of women of color and the latter's lack of understanding of the full dimension of liberation from the unique oppressions of black women require bringing them together in Womanist Theology. The goals of womanist theology include interrogating the social construction of black womanhood in relation to the black community and to assume a liberatory perspective so African American women can live emboldened lives within the African American community and within the larger society. Some of its tasks are excavating the life stories of poor women of African descent in the church and to understanding the "languages" of black women.[1]

Etymology

The term womanish was commonly used in Black daily language by mothers to describe adolescent daughters who act outrageous and grown-up, in contrast to girlish. Womanist was then developed in 1983 by black writer and activist Alice Walker in her collection of essays, In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose. In this text, she makes the point that "A Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender."[2] Hence, while womanist referred primarily to African American women, it was also for women in general. Walker's works would have significant impact on later womanist theologians.[3]

Development

The roots of modern womanist theology grew out of the theology of James Hal Cone, Katie G. Cannon, Jacquelyn Grant, and Delores Williams. Cone developed black theology which sought to make sense out of theology from black experience in America. In his book A Black Theology of Liberation, Cone argued that "God is black" in an effort to demonstrate that God identifies with oppressed black Americans. Then, Grant, a first-generation womanist theologian, argued that Cone did not attend to the fullness of black experience – specifically that of black women. She argued that the oppression of black women is different from that of black men. Grant pointed out that lower-class black women must navigate between the threefold oppression of racism, sexism, and classism in her books Womanist Theology and White Women's Christ and Black Women's Jesus: Feminist Christology and Womanist Response. For her, Jesus is a "divine co-sufferer" who suffered in his time like black women today. Grant concludes that black women are more oppressed and in need of further liberation than black men and especially white women. Delores Williams took the work of theologians such as Cone and Grant and expanded upon them. She suggested that womanist theologians need to "search for the voices, actions, opinions, experience, and faith" of black women in order to experience the God who "makes a way out of no way." She defines womanist in the following way:

Womanist theology is a prophetic voice concerned about the well-being of the entire African-American community, male and female, adults and children. Womanist theology attempts to help black women see, affirm, and have confidence in the importance of their experience and faith for determining the character of the Christian religion in the African-American community. Womanist theology challenges all oppressive forces impeding black women's struggle for survival and for the development of a positive, productive quality of life conducive to women's and the family's freedom and well-being. Womanist theology opposes all oppression based on race, sex, class, sexual preference, physical ability, and caste.[4]

Approaches to the Bible

Womanist theologians use a variety of methods to approach the scripture. Some attempt to find black women within the biblical narrative so as to reclaim the role and identity of black people in general, and black women specifically, within the Bible. Examples include the social ethicist Cheryl Sanders and the womanist theologian Karen Baker-Fletcher. Some approach the Bible "objectively" to critically evaluate text that degrades women and people of color and to offer an African-centered form, to resist male domination and bias, or what could be termed anti-women or androcentric attitudes and forms. Others draw on resources outside the Bible to enhance the plurality and cohesion of the texts along with our life experiences and reject scripture as a whole or part which is seen to serve male interest only. These methods are not separated and can be endorsed together.

Patricia-Anne Johnson writes that "Renita J. Weems, a womanist professor and scholar of the Hebrew Bible, examines scripture as a world filled with women of color. Through the use of womanist imagination, Weems helps students to understand female roles, personalities, and woman-to-woman relationships during the time when the biblical texts were written."[5] Johnson, quoting further from Weems, also shows how Hagar and Esther can be seen as models of resistance for black women: "Womanism may be envisioned as a post-colonial discourse that allows African-American women to embrace a Jesus and a God free of the imperialism of white supremacy."[6]

See also

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ Mitchem 2002.
  2. ^ Walker 1983, p. xii.
  3. ^ Willis 2016.
  4. ^ Williams 1995, p. 67.
  5. ^ Johnson 2002, p. 203.
  6. ^ Johnson 2002, p. 205.

Bibliography

Johnson, Patricia-Anne (2002). "Womanist Theology as Counter-Narrative". In Ruether, Rosemary Radford (ed.). Gender, Ethnicity, and Religion: Views from the Other Side. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Augsburg Fortress. pp. 197ff. ISBN 978-0-8006-3569-5.
Mitchem, Stephanie Y. (2002). Introducing Womanist Theology. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books (published 2014). ISBN 978-1-60833-199-4.
Walker, Alice (1983). In Search of our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. ISBN 978-0-15-144525-7.
Williams, Delores S. (1995). Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-talk. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books.
Willis, Gladys J. (2016). Alice Walker's Influence on Womanist Theology. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 978-1-4257-2061-2.

Further reading

Sweeney, Hyacinth (2000). "The Bible as a Tool For Growth for Black Women". Black Theology in Britain: A Journal of Contextual Praxis. 3 (5): 21–32. ISSN 1462-3161.
Thomas, Linda E. (1998). "Womanist Theology, Epistemology, and a New Anthropological Paradigm". Cross Currents. Vol. 48 no. 4. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
John, Joby. Probing Womanist Existentialism: A Reading of Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
Riggs, Marcia, ed. (1997). Can I Get a Witness?: Prophetic Religious Voices of African American Women: An Anthology. New York: Orbis Books. ISBN 9781570751134.
Agnostic existentialism

Agnostic existentialism is a type of existentialism which makes no claim to know whether there is a "greater picture"; rather, it simply asserts that the greatest truth is that which the individual chooses to act upon. It feels that to know the greater picture, whether there is one or not, is impossible, or impossible so far, or of little value. Like the Christian existentialist, the agnostic existentialist believes existence is subjective.

Buddhist feminism

Buddhist feminism is a movement that seeks to improve the religious, legal, and social status of women within Buddhism. It is an aspect of feminist theology which seeks to advance and understand the equality of men and women morally, socially, spiritually, and in leadership from a Buddhist perspective. The Buddhist feminist Rita Gross describes Buddhist feminism as "the radical practice of the co-humanity of women and men."

Delores S. Williams

Delores S. Williams is a theologian notable for her formative role in the development of womanist theology and best known for her book Sisters in the Wilderness. Her writings over the years have discussed the role intersecting oppressions of race, gender, and class have played in the situation of black women. As opposed to feminist theology as it was predominantly practiced by white women and black theology as predominantly practiced by black men, Williams argues that black women's oppression deepens the analysis of oppression in theology. In Sisters in the Wilderness, Williams' primarily develops a rereading of the biblical figure, Hagar, to illuminate the importance of issues of reproduction and surrogacy in black women's oppression. According to Aaron McEmrys, "Williams offers a theological response to the defilement of black women.... Womanism is an approach to ethics, theology and life rooted in the experiences of African-American women". The term "Womanism" was coined by a contemporary of Williams, Alice Walker, used in her 1979 short story "Coming Apart" and again in her 1983 essay collection In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens. Williams wrote the eighth chapter of Transforming the Faiths of our Fathers: Women who Changed American Religion (2004), edited by Ann Braude.

Feminazi

Feminazi is a pejorative term for feminists, which was popularized by politically conservative American radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

Feminism in Taiwan

Taiwan has a complex history of feminist and women's-rights movements with periods of progressiveness where feminism and strong female icons flourished and periods of strict authoritarianism where equality and individual rights were devalued.

Feminist theology

Feminist theology is a movement found in several religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and New Thought, to reconsider the traditions, practices, scriptures, and theologies of those religions from a feminist perspective. Some of the goals of feminist theology include increasing the role of women among the clergy and religious authorities, reinterpreting male-dominated imagery and language about God, determining women's place in relation to career and motherhood, and studying images of women in the religion's sacred texts and matriarchal religion.

Index of feminism articles

This is an index of articles related to the issue of feminism, women's liberation, the women's movement, and women's rights.

Islamic monarchy

Islamic monarchies are a type of Islamic state which are monarchies. Historically known by various names, such as Mamlakah ("Kingdom"), Caliphate, Sultanate, or Emirate, current Islamic monarchies include:

Kingdom of Morocco

Kingdom of Bahrain

Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Sultanate of Oman

Monarchies of Malaysia

Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace

State of Kuwait

State of Qatar

United Arab Emirates

Jacquelyn Grant

Jacquelyn Grant (born 1948) is an African-American theologian and Methodist minister best known as one of the founding developers of womanist theology. She is currently the Callaway Professor of Systematic Theology at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. Grant has written the notable White Women's Christ and Black Women's Jesus.

Katie Cannon

Katie Geneva Cannon (January 3, 1950 – August 8, 2018) was an American Christian theologian and ethicist associated with womanist theology and black theology. She was the first African-American woman ordained in the United Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which occurred in 1974.

List of ecofeminist authors

An alphabetized list of ecofeminist writers includes the following:

Carol J. Adams

Carol P. Christ

Chris Cuomo

Mary Daly

Françoise d'Eaubonne

Barbara Ehrenreich

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Alice Fulton

Greta Gaard

Chellis Glendinning

Mary Grey

Susan Griffin

Donna Haraway

Allison Hedge Coke

Stephanie Kaza

Petra Kelly

Anna Kingsford

Winona LaDuke

Joanna Macy

Wangari Muta Maathai

Maria Mies

Carolyn Merchant

Gloria Feman Orenstein

Judith Plaskow

Val Plumwood

Arundhati Roy

Rosemary Radford Ruether

Ariel Salleh

Carol Lee Sanchez

Vandana Shiva

Charlene Spretnak

Starhawk

Merlin Stone

Sheri S. Tepper

Douglas Vakoch

Anne Waldman

Alice Walker

Barbara Walker

Marilyn Waring

Karen J. Warren

Laura WrightLiterature/Poetry

Margaret Atwood

Jean Auel

Marion Zimmer Bradley

Octavia Butler

Annie Dillard

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Sue Monk Kidd

Ursula K. Le Guin

Barbara Kingsolver

Toni Morrison

Mary Oliver

Alice Walker

Nandini Sahu

List of women's studies journals

This is a list of peer-reviewed, academic journals in field of women's studies.

Note: there are many important academic magazines that are not true peer-reviewed journals. They are not listed here.

Monica Coleman

Monica A. Coleman (born 1974) is a contemporary theologian associated with process theology and womanist theology. She is the Associate Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religions at Claremont School of Theology and Associate Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate University. She is currently one of the co-directors of the Center for Process Studies. Her research interests are in Whiteheadian metaphysics, constructive theology, philosophical theology, metaphorical theology, black and womanist theologies, African American religions, African traditional religions, theology and sexual and domestic violence and mental health and theology.

Native American feminism

Native American feminism or Native feminism is an intersectional feminist movement rooted in the lived experiences of Native American and First Nations women. As a branch of the broader Indigenous feminism, it similarly prioritizes decolonization, indigenous sovereignty, and the empowerment of indigenous women and girls in the context of Native American and First Nations cultural values and priorities, rather than white, mainstream ones. A central and urgent issue for Native feminists is the Missing and murdered Indigenous women crisis.

Purplewashing

Purplewashing is a compound word modelled on the term whitewash. In the context of feminism, it is used to describe a variety of political and marketing strategies aimed at promoting countries, people, companies and other organisations through an appeal to gender equality.The term is commonly used to denounce the use of feminism to justify what is perceived as xenophobic or Islamophobic policies.The word is also used to criticise how Western countries, that have not achieved complete gender equality, justify this by pointing out that other countries (often majority muslim) or cultures still have a worse quality of life for women.

Reclaiming (Neopaganism)

Reclaiming is a modern witchcraft tradition, aiming to combine the Goddess movement with feminism and political activism (in the peace and anti-nuclear movements). Reclaiming was founded in 1979, in the context of the Reclaiming Collective (1978–1997), by two Neopagan women of Jewish descent, Starhawk and Diane Baker, in order to explore and develop feminist Neopagan emancipatory rituals.Today, the organization focuses on progressive social, political, environmental and economic activism. Guided by a shared, "Principles of Unity, a document that lists the core values of the tradition: personal authority, inclusivity, social and environmental justice and a recognition of intersectionality".

Renita J. Weems

Renita J. Weems is a Hebrew Bible scholar. Her work in biblical studies is frequently cited in feminist theology and womanist theology.

Timeline of first women's suffrage in majority-Muslim countries

This timeline lists the dates of the first women's suffrage in Muslim majority countries. Dates for the right to vote, suffrage, as distinct from the right to stand for election and hold office, are listed.

Some countries with majority Muslim populations established universal suffrage upon national independence, such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Malaysia. In most North Africa countries, women participated in the first national elections or soon following. Some dates relate to regional elections and, where possible, the second date of general election has been included. Even countries listed may not have universal suffrage for women, and some may have regressed in women's rights since the initial granting of suffrage.

White feminism

White feminism is an epithet used to describe feminist theories that focus on the struggles of white women without addressing distinct forms of oppression faced by ethnic minority women and women lacking other privileges.

Academic fields
Related subjects
Feminist theorists
Lists

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.